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New Government House1841

by Conrad Martens

Construction began on a new Government House for Sydney in 1836, designed in England in Gothic-revival style. It was completed in June 1845. Its exterior was largely finished by the time Martens made his pencil sketches for this painting in 1841. 

The building was situated to be visible from both the city and the Harbour, ‘its tall chimnies of elaborately carved stone, white turrets and numerous windows, render it a conspicuous ornament to our metropolis’. Martens has contrasted the lightness of its sandstone against the darkness of the walls of the Government Stables — now the Conservatorium of Music.

This was one of six canvases painted as a private commission for Sir George Gipps, the ninth Governor of the Colony.